Friday, November 7, 2008

Refocusing...

Wow. I'm tired. Tired of walking, talking, breathing, thinking...living Election 2008. Tired of everyone on TV - from Keith Olbermann to Bill O'Reilly. Tired of the etoile du jour of politics - from Bill Clinton to Sarah Palin. Tried of voices telling me what to think about the past and what to expect in the future. Tired of what ifs and what nows. I supported the winning ticket for the first time in a long time, and I'm tired. How do the 56,802,609 (46%) voters who supported John McCain feel today? If I am experiencing post-election drag...losing the long-fought battle to the White House must be coma inducing. I guess I have suppressed the depression I felt in 2004. I hope the 64,538,980 (53%) of us riding our exhaustion with a smile and a collection of champagne corks are not insensitive to friends, neighbors, and family members who feel genuine despair in the midst of the worldwide dance to the tune of ObamaMania. Because I really believe we do our best work together. United we stand, divided we fall...you know? And so, I apologize right now for despising George Bush for most of the last 8 years. Perhaps it was the bitter electoral : popular vote outcome in 2000 that set me on edge. Do you remember that Al Gore won the popular vote that year by 550,000 votes? Maybe it was disbelief that a man who publicly claimed to be "misunderestimated"... who asked, "Is our children learning?" ... who claimed in 2004 that God spoke through him on the subject of war in Iraq ... could be elected to TWO terms as leader of the most powerful nation on earth. Or, maybe I'm just a grumpy old peacenik who can't reconcile the George W. Bush of October, 2002 to the Iraqi civilian body count of 2008. In the Fall before he launched a pre-emptive military attack on Iraq, President Bush said this: America is a friend to the people of Iraq. Our demands are directed only at the regime that enslaves them and threatens us. When these demands are met, the first and greatest benefit will come to Iraqi men, women and children.

Some friendship, I'd say. Explain the truth of that presidential humanitarianism to the Iraqi men, women, and children who have lost at least 90,000 friends and family members to violence brought to their land by a U.S. sponsored war. In October 2008 alone...533 civilians (33 children) were killed in war related incidents. 26 of those civilians were killed by U.S. soldiers. And we are told the violence is winding down.

So, there it is. I have hated George Bush for making Americans out to be oil-hungry beasts who will say anything and stop at nothing to get what we want. I promise to do my best to get over it. In 74 days.

In the meantime, please forgive my long sighs of relief. We have, this week, shown the world our compassionate side. We have just elected a man who never supported our illegal and immoral war...a man who promises to pull U.S. boys and girls out of that mess within 16 months.

I am weary of election talk, to be sure. It is time to imagine a peaceful future and the role we each have to play in making it so. Surely there is abundant energy for that.

A smile and a toast to Peace on Earth.

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